Mystery Scream Buyer Revealed

Financier Leon Black paid $120M for Munch masterwork

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 11, 2012 11:35 PM CDT | Updated Jul 12, 2012 1:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The mystery buyer who paid a record-breaking $120 million for Edvard Munch's The Scream is New York City financier Leon Black, according to the Wall Street Journal, which says "several people close to the collector" have confirmed the buy. The billionaire chief of investment firm Apollo Global Management sits on the board of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, meaning a tug-of-war over the Norwegian masterpiece's next home may be in the cards.

Munch created four versions of the famous painting, but the one in Black's hands is the only one not in an Oslo museum. Black and wife Debra are among the world's foremost art collectors, and their $750 million collection already boasts drawings by Vincent van Gogh and Raphael, Picasso paintings, and watercolors by JMW Turner. "I wish museum directors knew as much about art as Leon Black does," says Old Master dealer Richard Feigen. "Nobody has his wingspan."

"The Scream" was sold Wednesday, May 2, 2012 for a record $119,922,500 by Sotheby’s in New York City.   (AP Photo/Sotheby’s Auction House)
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